Volume 11, Issue
1, April 2014


Leslie Stevens*


Cite as: Leslie Stevens, “‘Innovation in the Law’: the Second Annual Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference”, (2014) 11:1 SCRIPTed 137



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DOI: 10.2966/scrip.110114.137

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2013 saw the success of the first
annual Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference (EPGLC) on the theme of “The Law,
Individual and Community”. Of the twelve panels included in the conference,
three dealt specifically with areas within SCRIPTed’s remit, and provided
original and quality research of postgraduate legal scholars in the areas of
biotechnology patents, medical research and donation, and the implications of
biotechnology for identity and the law. The final keynote address, delivered by
Dr. Mark Taylor, Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield, explored the careful
balance and tensions between using technological advances in data processing
for reasons in the public interest (especially in the health sector) and the
public interest in maintaining robust privacy protection for individuals.  


Building upon the success of the
first conference and the enthusiasm of the postgraduate community within
Edinburgh’s Law School to continue this endeavour, the second annual EPGLC was
developed around the theme: “Innovation in the Law: New Challenges, New
This theme will allow postgraduate legal scholars to address, inter alia,
recent challenges posed by new technologies and how new perspectives help frame
the challenges to drive innovative responses. Innovative practices and guidance
within the law can foster new perspectives on the law and
society, in a world of continuous change. It is anticipated that this theme
will attract a wide variety of original and quality research from an
international community of postgraduate legal scholars. Papers will be sought
from all areas of law and related subject areas in promotion of
interdisciplinarity. The challenges presented by recent events in surveillance,
prospective changes to data protection law, and developments in biotechnology
will provide scholars the opportunity to engage with relevant societal issues
whilst developing key strands of their research.


The conference theme “Innovation
in the Law” has also inspired innovation in how the conference is being
organised. It will be ultimately delivered this December 1-2, 2014. The 2014
conference committee has embraced the benefits offered through social media and
productivity technology in its first phase of organising the second EPGLC
including reliance on social media (Twitter, Facebook) to market the conference
and drive submissions to the call for papers internationally; development of
consistent branding, represented on the conference website and all social media
outlets; regular updates on the website’s blog giving postgraduates “backstage”
access to the ins and outs of organising a postgraduate conference; use of QR
codes on all marketing materials to promote ease of access to relevant
information, among other innovative working practices.


In the spirit of innovation, as
applied to postgraduate research, one of the training sessions offered at the
conference will focus on the use of social media as a tool to promote effective
communication of research. This session will highlight the benefits of
extending research impact through social media channels and consider effective communication
of research tailored to the multidisciplinary audiences reached through the
likes of Twitter and other social media outlets.


To foster interactivity through
social media and the conference blog, those selected to present their research
at the conference will be asked to write a blog post prior to December. This
will promote interaction between presenters, participants, discussants and the
committee before the conference, which will translate into further
robust discussions during the twelve panel sessions. In light of this
non-traditional submission, the conference will award presenters on the basis
of ‘Best Blog’ as well as ‘Best Presentation’. Finally, to benefit those in the
postgraduate community who cannot attend the conference, we are exploring the
possibility of live-tweeting and podcasting the panel sessions and keynote
address. It is through this push for engagement via social media and other
non-traditional channels that the 2014 conference committee hope to leave a
legacy for future conference committees to carry on and further innovate from.




* Research Fellow Administrative
Data Research Centre – Scotland, PhD candidate and PhD Convener, the Mason
Institute, School of Law, University of Edinburgh.

[1] Edinburgh Postgraduate Law
Conference available at
http://blogs.sps.ed.ac.uk/lawpgconference/ (accessed 15 Apr 14).

“Innovation in the Law”: The Second Annual Edinburgh Postgraduate Law Conference

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